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It was a warm summer's day and Charlie had just been released from
prison after serving a 3-year sentence for arson.
His best friend Larry was waiting for him. He was taking Charlie to
his house so he could make a start on sorting out his life. Charlie
wanted to find a job and a new house. The first thing he wanted to do
was go and get his car. It was a Honda S2000; it was red and had all
After he'd dropped his bag at Larry's he went to the job centre to see
if there were any jobs going. He spotted one working in a restaurant;
they were looking for someone to wash dishes.
Charlie thought that would do until he could find something better. He
knew he would have to tell the owners that he'd just come out of
prison, but he hoped they would give him a chance.
He went into the job centre and enquired about the vacancy at the
restaurant. The assistant knew the owner Mr Brewer. He rang him and
arranged an interview for the following day for 3.00 PM. Charlie then
went to the garage where his car was stored.
Larry had been taking care of it for him by turning over the engine
everyday. It started first go.
Then Larry arrived to take him to his house. They went inside and
Larry made the tea. They watched TV for a while then sleep got the
better of Charlie so he said to Larry " I'm going for an early night"
Larry replied " Ok mate".
As Charlie lay on the bed he thought I hope I get that job tomorrow.
Tomorrow would be the start of a new life for Charlie and time to
leave the past behind and maybe one day Larry would own up to starting
the fire that destroyed Charlie's house.
They had been friends since they were 3 years old. They had grown up
living next door to each other.
That was why Charlie had taken the rap for Larry as he thought of him
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Maybe one-day Charlie's family would forgive Charlie for not standing
up to Larry.
Charlie woke the following morning, it seemed strange to wake up to
the birds singing and not to the sound of keys turning in the locks
and wardens shouting time to get up. He just lay for a while thinking
about the 3 years he had spent in prison. He had made a few friends
while he had been in there. He had promised to keep in touch,
especially the guy named Mack. Mack had befriended Charlie more or
less from the beginning.
Mack had talked to Charlie when he had been feeling down and Charlie
had told Mack exactly what had happened and how really Larry was to
blame but he hadn't really meant to burn the house down. They had both
been drinking and somehow an argument had started about something
stupid. They had gone home and Charlie had gone to bed leaving Larry
downstairs. Larry had lit a cigarette and fallen asleep. The cigarette
had dropped from his fingers down the side of the settee.
When Larry had woken and gone to make himself a cup of tea the settee
had set on fire. It was well ablaze when he had returned to the living
room. By the time he had come to his senses the whole room was on
fire. Larry managed to wake Charlie and they both got out but by the
time the firemen arrived the whole house had set ablaze. They found
the cigarette down the side of the settee and the police were
convinced it was not an accident and charged Larry with starting the
fire. Charlie knew Larry would not be able to cope with life in
Larry was a bit slow to grasp things and sometimes he didn't realise
what he was doing. So Charlie lied and said it was his fault and he
was sent down for 4 years but they let him out after 3 for good
behaviour. Larry visited as often as he could and promised Charlie he
would make it up to him when he got out. After a while Charlie got up,
showered had a shave and looked through some of Larry's clothes until
he could afford hiss own. He had lost everything in the fire. He was
not looking forward to the interview with Mr Brewer as he had decided
to tell him about being in prison.
At 2.00 PM he left the house and got the bus to the restaurant, he
wanted to give a good impression and hopefully look keen for the job.
Mr Brewer seemed a kindly looking chap. He asked Charlie a few
questions then he asked what had he been doing for the last 3 years.
Charlie took a deep breath and told Mr Brewer about being in prison he
said he thought it would be better to be honest. Mr Brewer sat back in
his chair and thought Charlie had an honest face and he had been early
for his interview so he must be eager. He looked at Charlie and said "
Because you have been honest with me and you seem keen to work I will
give you 1 months trial and then we'll take it from there.
Charlie smiled and said " Thank you, you wont regret this and I wont
let you down ". They shook hands and Charlie went home feeling better
than he had in a long time. Larry was waiting for him and asked how he
had got on. He was really pleased Charlie had got the job on a month's
trial. Maybe now they both could start anew and forget the past.